CBI not to part with information on MEA letter on Anderson
New Delhi: CBI has refused to part with
information on a purported letter of the Ministry of External
Affairs (MEA) asking it not to pursue extradition proceedings
against then chairman of Union Carbide Warren Anderson after
the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy.
"The case is still pending prosecution vis-a-vis
Anderson, who is an absconder in the case. I am convinced the
disclosure of information as asked by you (applicant) would
impede the process of his pending extradition and
prosecution," CBI said in a response to a query filed under
the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
Denying the information to applicant Ajay K Agrawal,
an advocate, Chief Public Information Officer of CBI, Rakesh
Aggarwal said his response under the transparency law could be
challenged before a superior authority within 30 days.
The plea under RTI had sought a copy of MEA letter,
purportedly written during 1994-1996, asking CBI not to press
for Anderson's extradition in connection with the Bhopal
tragedy case which had left over 15,000 dead.
The application quoted statements of B R Lal, then
joint director of CBI, in which he said the MEA was against
"...I do not know, what was the agreement between the
two countries (India and the USA) on the issue. And anyway, in
a country like ours, no investigation can be done against the
rich and people with high contacts," the application, quoting
Anderson, who was booked under section 304 (culpable
homicide not amounting to murder) under the IPC, secured bail
and flew out of Bhopal on a state aircraft in 1984.
Within hours of landing at Delhi, Anderson left for
the USA and did not come back to face the trial.
Recently, a chief judicial magistrate of Bhopal had
awarded two years jail term to seven persons including
industrialist Keshub Mahindra, then chairman of Union Carbide
after holding them guilty under section 304A (causing death by
negligence) of the IPC.